The Interaction of Latino and Racial Identification

Mary E. Campbell, University of Iowa
Christabel Rogalin, University of Iowa

Most large datasets solicit “Hispanic/Latino” identification and “racial” identification in separate questions. This makes it difficult to study multiracial identification in the Latino population, since it is not clear whether individuals who identify as Hispanic and choose a racial category are indicating a multiracial heritage. Using the May 1995 Race and Ethnicity Supplement to the Current Population Survey, we test whether individuals who chose a Hispanic and a racial identity consider themselves multiracial when given a combined question about their ethnic origins. We find that most individuals who chose a Hispanic and a racial identity do not choose a multiracial option when given the choice; the most popular choice on a combined question is a monoracial Hispanic identification, followed by a white identification. Using a multinomial logit model, we identify social factors that have significant relationships with these identification choices, and discuss implications for using combined race/ethnicity questions on surveys.

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Presented in Session 133: Ethnicity, Race, and Demographic Change among Latinos